Gene transposition as a cause of hybrid sterility in Drosophila

  • Masly J
  • Jones C
  • Noor M
 et al. 
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We describe reproductive isolation caused by a gene transposition. In certain Drosophila melanogaster-D. simulans hybrids, hybrid male sterility is caused by the lack of a single-copy gene essential for male fertility, JYAlpha. This gene is located on the fourth chromosome of D. melanogaster but on the third chromosome of D. simulans. Genomic and molecular analyses show that JYAlpha transposed to the third chromosome during the evolutionary history of the D. simulans lineage. Because of this transposition, a fraction of hybrids completely lack JYAlpha and are sterile, representing reproductive isolation without sequence evolution.

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  • Corbin JonesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • John P. Masly

  • Mohamed A.F. Noor

  • John Locke

  • H. Allen Orr

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